Sex & Relationships

10 Adventurous Sex Positions to Help You Get In Shape

Sex can help you work up a sweat and get you on the path to losing weight.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

For centuries, people have been hearing about the benefits of sex for the mind and body, but can sex actually make us fit?

Recently, Khloe Kardashian made the Sex Calculator popular by advertising it as part of her fitness routine. The Sex Calculator, created by the UK-based web design company Forrk, calls itself the "Latest Weight Loss Tool.” The app measures the amount of calories burned during sex, and factors in your gender, body type, position used, speed and duration.

Even the porn industry is getting on the sex-as-fitness bandwagon. According to the Huffington Post, Pornhub recently launched BangFit, an interactive game to help couples lose weight during sex. It seems a bit impractical, though. The “players” wear their smartphones on a special belt, which will measure their movements as they “play.” The players then turn on the app, which will tell them to go along with a video, copying the precise movements and positions on the screen, kind of like a Wii Fit for having sex. The player with the most accuracy and the most calories burned will gain the most points, and ultimately “win” at sex. But in the game of sex are there really any losers?

For a more practical guide to having fit sex, I spoke with some fitness experts on how to get the best workout and burn the most calories during a sex session: Nadia Murdock, a fitness coach, trainer and author who created “Nadia Murdock Fit,” and Stacy Berman, a NYC-based trainer and wellness coach, who gained notoriety through “Stacy’s Bootcamp,” and eventually turned it into a three-part program called “The System,” that focuses on losing weight, fitness and mental health.

They both believe sex can definitely help people work up a sweat and get on the path to losing weight, though it should not be used as the primary form of fitness.

According to Murdock, a session of about 30 minutes could burn over 125 calories. “Add a little more kissing and you can burn close to 200 calories,” she added. Also, “more active positions” will help achieve a higher calorie burn.

Here's a list they helped compile to target specific muscle groups. Try some of them out at home, and see if you feel the burn.  

1. Standing

Body Parts Worked: Core, Legs, Arms

This is probably the most strenuous position of all, for both men and women. For the man it requires a lot of upper body strength to hold up his partner during sex. If the woman has one leg wrapped around her partner, and standing on the other leg, she will be using her leg muscles to keep her balanced. If both legs are wrapped around her partner, she will be using her arms to hold herself up. The core is engaged throughout this position.

Note: Careful with this one in the shower, it can be slippery. 

2. Squatting Cowgirl/Squat Balance

Body Parts Worked: Core, Glutes, Quads

The regular and reverse cowgirl positions are fairly simple. The woman is on top and like cowgirls do, she rides her partner’s … eh hmm … stallion. When in this position, the woman will be working her core, particularly her lower abs. But to step it up a notch, try the squatting cowgirl. “Instead of kneeling over your partner in the traditional cowgirl position, squat over them with the feet on either side of his hips. Basically this position is the same as doing a pulsing squat in the bottom position. Besides working the legs and butt it will also get the heart rate elevated,” says Berman.

Another alternative to this position is the squat balance. “Have your partner squat on a stool or the edge of the bed in front of you (make sure the surface is sturdy). While standing behind her place your hands on her bottom so that she can rest her body weight and ‘sit’ down while leaning against your chest. Slowly penetrate her from behind while she braces herself on your arms and you help support her body weight,” Murdock says. Your legs will be shaking after a few minutes of this, not because you are on the verge of climax, but because it is damn difficult.

3. Wheelbarrow

Body Parts Worked: Arms, Upper Body

Remember doing wheelbarrow relay races as a kid? This is actually a really great sex move that will give your upper body, especially your arms, a serious workout.

“The Wheelbarrow definitely zeros in on the upper body, challenging both parties. The female will get down in all fours in table top position maintaining a firm grip on the ground while, the male will grasp her thighs and lift her off the ground. The man will be utilizing his upper body strength to keep his partner up off the ground. The key is to maintain positioning during the love making session,” says Murdock.

4. Lunge

Body Parts Worked: Quads, Core, Glutes, Hamstrings

In the lunge position the woman is on top of the man with one leg extended behind her in between her partner’s leg. The other leg is bent in front of her, with your foot planted on the side of your partner’s chest. Berman told Fitness Magazine, that this is a great position for stretching out your hips and legs. “It’ll also work the deep stabilizer muscle of the leg in the front—both inner and outer thigh – as well as stretch the back leg’s hip flexor,” Berman said. 

After a few minutes, try extending the other leg to get a balanced leg workout.

5. Bridge

Body Parts Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Core, Arms

The bridge position requires a bit of flexibility and upper body strength. A few previous yoga classes wouldn’t hurt when trying out this fun position. This position is an easy switch from cowgirl or missionary. The woman is facing the man and lifts her butt off the bed (or whatever surface you’re getting busy on), while the man is between her legs. The woman then places her hands behind her and holds her entire body up with her arms. Try to keep those arms straight while in this position. Berman says if you are going to this position from cowgirl, “your butt will start burning after five minutes.”

6. Arch

Body Parts Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads

The arch is a variation of the bridge, but it places more emphasis on the glutes and quads because the woman isn’t using her arms for support. It is essentially the same position as the bridge, but the woman has her arms down on the bed, and lifts her torso. It is essentially like a long pelvic thrust. In this and the bridge position, the man is working his core and his upper body to hold the woman up.

7. Doggy Style

Body Parts Worked: Core, Quads and Glutes, Arms

This classic position is a lot of fun because of the deep penetration. In a separate interview, Berman told Fitness Magazine that this position works the core because the woman must stabilize herself on all fours. She also offered an alternative to this position that will offer a decent arm workout, by sort of doing a pushup against the wall. “If the woman has her hands on a wall in front of her and sort of uses her upper body to help thrust, that would be a good shoulder and upper body workout,” Berman said.

8. Active Missionary

Body Parts Worked: Core

Instead of just lying there like a dead fish in the missionary position, Berman suggests being more energetic. “As the bottom in the equation, be an active participant. Meet your partner halfway on each thrust by pulling in the lower abs, tilting some pelvic circles for extra sensation and core engagement. You are basically doing pelvis tilt exercises," Berman says. (Pelvic tilt: as you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles, causing a slight pelvic tilt. While you flex your abdominals, imagine pulling your bellybutton toward your spine. Inhale slowly and release the pelvic tilt.)

9. Lotus

Body Parts Worked: Core, Glutes

This is one of the less-active positions, but perhaps the most romantic. Murdock likes the lotus position because it challenges both parties, she says. In this position, the man and the woman are sitting facing each other. The woman is sitting on the man’s lap and has her legs wrapped around his torso. The man is sitting with his legs crossed. In lotus, many of the same muscles that are engaged in cowgirl are utilized in this position. However, it is easier because the man is supporting your back with his arms. Lotus engages the core so the woman can keep herself balanced. The glutes are also involved, as they flex and release with every thrust.

10. Scissors

Body Parts Worked: Core, Inner Thighs

This position is very easy, and according to Fitness Magazine, it is recommended for pregnant women, due to its low impact. With the woman on the bottom, partner’s legs should be intercrossed. This is a very slow-paced position. Most of the movement comes from the inner thighs and pelvis. While “scissoring,” engage your core by thrusting your pelvis forward and squeezing your inner thighs.

Try a few or all of these positions when you are feeling horny, and also guilty about having that extra slice of pizza. If done regularly, Murdock says you will find yourself becoming more flexible. She adds that if these, particularly the more difficult positions, are done vigorously and frequently, you may notice a difference in your body in two weeks.

However, don’t think having sex a few times a week in lieu of the gym will give you a rock-hard bod. “While sex is amazing and you definitely can work up a sweat while doing it, it isn’t and shouldn’t be considered a way to keep you fit,” says Berman. “By placing the emphasis on calories burned or muscles worked you miss the whole point of sex, which is pleasure and hopefully orgasm. Even if you are having Olympic-style sex the calories burned are negligible compared to a focused workout. In the end, use sex for pleasure and exercise for fitness.”

Katia Kleyman is an NYC-based journalist. She writes about sex, culture (of the pop and non-pop variety), history, and movies. Follow her on Twitter @kleyman_katia and visit her website